John Bolton: Iranian Bomb Plot Is a 'Reality Check'

Wednesday, 12 Oct 2011 05:42 AM

By Hiram Reisner

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Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton says the Iranian bombing plot should be a “reality check” for anyone in the Obama administration or Congress that still believes it is possible to negotiate with the government of Iran over its nuclear weapons program. Bolton also told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren Tuesday that Pentagon reports of a non-military response to the plot is what Tehran expected.
“The government of Iran has been a state sponsor of terrorism for decades . . . it’s engaged in assassination for decades as a matter of policy, and its conflict with Saudi Arabia is well known,” Bolton said. “What is startling — and what ought to be a red flag to everybody who thinks it’s possible to negotiate with the government of Iran — is they planned to carry out this assassination on American soil.
“So I think the first thing that needs to happen is a complete reality check for everybody in the administration and in Congress who still thought there was any chance to negotiate with Iran over its nuclear weapons program,” he said. “It’s not going to happen.”
Van Susteren noted the Pentagon has indicated the United States does not intend to respond with military force to the Iranian plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia's ambassador and blow up the Saudi and Israeli embassies in Washington. She asked Bolton if he was surprised by the Pentagon “tipping our hand.”
“I think that’s what the Iranians already believe — they think that our response if this was uncovered was likely to be so weak that they were prepared to take the risk of killing foreign diplomats on American soil,” Bolton said. “And that statement by whomever it was — by that anonymous Pentagon official — just confirms in their mind that they were going to get a weak response,” adding the plot also highlights the conflict in the Middle East between different Muslim sects.
“All of which is exacerbated by Iran’s continuing progress towards nuclear weapons,” he said. “If we don’t pay attention to this, we’re going to find a conflict in which our interests are deeply involved, which we have allowed to happen, because we have sleepwalked past the graveyard we’re creating by allowing Iran to get nuclear weapons.”

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